MANILA, July 9, 2015— Catholic bishops are due to to hold a meeting with Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Andres Bautista over the weekend.
The members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines will meet with the Comelec chief to discuss issues surrounding the forthcoming general elections.
An official of the CBCP Secretariat said the bishops particularly want to know from the Comelec the status of the automated elections.
CBCP Secretary General Fr. Marvin Mejia said: “Basically the bishops want to know the plan of the Comelec and clarify some questions regarding the conduct of the election.”
Also part of the discussion, he said, is Fr. Carmelo Diola of the Dillab Foundation, a Christian-based movement, to present its campaign which aims to help voters and candidates make choices based on values and realistic criteria.
The bishops from around the country will convene for their biannual plenary assembly at the Pius XII Center in Manila on Saturday.
K to 12, drug trafficking
The three-day meeting, Mejia said, will also discuss the K to 12 program of the Department of Education and the problem of illegal drug trade in the country.
He said the CBCP has invited DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro to address the various concerns raised against the program.
He noted the a growing concern among bishops about the proliferation of illegal drug trade in many dioceses so they asked Senate Minority Leader Vicente Sotto III, who used to head the Senate Committee on Dangerous Drugs, to talk about the problem.
“It’s not being reported but actually some bishops see that this us really a growing problem. What actually triggered is what happened to Veloso. She was accused basically of drug trafficking,” Mejia said.
The priest was referring to Mary Jane Veloso, a Filipina maid who was convicted of drug trafficking in Indonesia and was minutes away from death by firing squad when her life spared.
Veloso has maintained she is a victim of human trafficking, duped into smuggling heroin into Indonesia.
Also part of the agenda, Mejia said, is the discussion on the responses of the dioceses to the synod office’s global consultation on how Catholics perceive Church teachings on family. (Roy Lagarde/CBCPNews)